District of the Future – the Freiburg Sustainability Compass at the Urban Lab (Scientific support)

Project description

According to the Freiburg Sustainability Compass, conceptual contributions to the realization of a sustainable development in a "District of the Future" were developed. The aim was the participatory development of requirements for and forms of implementation of a sustainable urban district in both an existing and a newly developed area. The directional thematic background was provided by Freiburg’s 60 sustainability targets with a focus on the five topics "Social justice", "Urban planning and urban development", "Improved mobility, less traffic", "Education" as well as "Climate and energy". Actors from politics, science, the economy and the civil society of the Freiburg Sustainability Council were involved in the process from its beginning and worked together in Future Labs on trend-setting challenges and problem-solving approaches for a District of the Future in Freiburg. The project "District of the Future – the Freiburg Sustainability Compass in the Urban Lab" combined the topics "challenges of a sustainable urban development" and a "continuous public participation". The awareness for a common understanding of responsibility was raised among disseminators as well as subject experts and citizens by involving them right from the beginning in the development of solutions for conflicts of objectives in the framework of the "District Future – Urban Lab".

The District Future team was the scientific partner of the city of Freiburg and supported its Sustainability Management Unit in questions regarding content and concept. The Future Labs, which are a methodological component of the participatory approach, were accompanied in the realization of their concept and received support in dealing with conflicts of objectives. The Sustainability Compass as an instrument was critically reflected and the sustainability targets of this instrument were evaluated against the background of the "Integrative Concept of Sustainable Development" regarding their scientific and directional aspects. By an intensive comparison in terms of content gaps could be identified and recommendations compiled. Based on these results hints for concretization and further development of the sustainability targets were acquired.

The results of the evaluation study were of great interest to the Freiburg Sustainability Council.

By completing the study also the project was finished.


Dr. Oliver Parodi
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe

Tel.: +49 721 608-26816